“He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
and asked him to put out a little from shore.
Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’
Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t
caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish
that their nets began to break”
Luke 5:3-6 (NIV)
“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples
did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them,
‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said,
‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because
of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved
said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say,
‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him
(for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish,
for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals
there with fish on it, and some bread.”
John 21:5-9 (NIV)
The place of this appearance in the sequence of resurrection events cannot be determined for certain. All we know is that it happened somewhere between the resurrection and the ascension.
Jesus does several things on the seashore to reinforce His resurrection to these disciples. He speaks to the fishermen at a time of day (early morning) when people from the surrounding area would typically gather at the shore to greet the fishermen and buy a day’s supply of fish for their family. This particular morning the disciples had fished all night without getting a catch.
Jesus tells them to cast their net on the right side of the boat and they would get a catch of fish. The catch was a miracle! The net was so full they could not haul it into the boat! The beloved disciple had déjà vu. In other words, he had experienced a similar situation just like this miracle before. Luke 5 records the previous scene. When the disciple realized the man on shore was their Teacher, he said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”. Peter immediately grabbed his outer garment, jumped ship and rushed ashore to be close to his beloved Master.
We can learn from Peter’s impulsive act of plunging into the water to get to Jesus faster than the others. The boat, the fish and his companions can care for themselves, Peter urgently wanted an extra moment with his Master. May God grant us impulsive hearts like Peter’s so that we too will have times when we drop everything to draw near to our beloved Master.
Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV) reads;
“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?”
The imagery may be quaint in the following hymn, but the sentiment is rich indeed. May it be our prayer today.
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest”;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”
Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart;
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified;
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.
Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee;
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee
– L. N. Morris